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The Convalescent Corpse by Nicola Slade - Book Blitz + Giveaway

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The Convalescent Corpse

A story of Family, Rationing and Inconvenient Corpses.
Life in 1918 has brought loss and grief and hardship to the three Fyttleton sisters. Helped only by their grandmother (a failed society belle and expert poacher) and hindered by a difficult suffragette mother, as well as an unruly chicken-stealing dog and a house full of paying-guests, they now have to deal with the worrying news that their late – and unlamented – father may not be dead after all.  And on top of that, there’s a body in the ha-ha.
‘I love it. A delightfully unusual mystery with wonderful characterisation and historical detail.’ - LESLEY COOKMAN BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF

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Chapter 1, Opening paragraphs
I sometimes have a brief prologue, particularly in my mysteries. It’s a useful device to remind the reader that there will, eventually, be a murder!

Spring 1918 Ramalley, Hampshire
‘We were all coping splendidly until my elder sister Alix decided to become a nun…’
I looked at what I’d written and sighed because there is nothing splendid about the way my family lurches from one crisis to another. As always, I began my diary with high hopes on New Year’s Day, intending to produce noble, uplifting sentiments to impress future generations. Not like Pepys’s diary, which, according to my former headmistress, is not at all respectable, or even Queen Victoria’s (indisputably respectable), but a famous diary in its own right. Once again real life interfered and for the third year in a row I had abandoned my journal by the second week of January. However, so many things have happened – although not particularly noble or uplifting – that I’ve started writing it again, beginning in February.

Between last November and the end of March, five important things occurred. The first, and by far the worst, was the thing that almost broke us, the thing we can still scarcely bear to talk about, so I’ll say it quickly. Early in November we received a telegram announcing that my brother Bertie had been posted Missing Believed Killed on the first of the month, his nineteenth birthday. No trace of him has ever been found.
The second thing that happened, about ten days before Christmas, was that our recently deceased next-door neighbour turned out not to have owned his house at all. In fact it actually belonged to Mother, Papa having bought it – along with our own house – with the proceeds of a win on the Derby in 1908. (The winning horse was ‘Signorinetta’ which means Little Miss. We like to believe he chose it because the name reminded him of his three daughters but with Papa it was never safe to make assumptions.)
We did know the house was in Mother’s name and we also knew about the win on the Derby, but not that Papa had bought the adjoining house too. No doubt fearing the weight of disapproval from his female relatives, he had never got round to mentioning that he’d also put the other house in Mother’s name. Papa was lost in the sinking of the Lusitania in 1915, so it was quite a shock to us all when the solicitor arrived to explain the situation.
The third thing that happened, a week or so into the New Year, was that my elder sister Alix announced that she intended to become a nun. This was because she had diligently attended every party she could cajole her way into in the town, but still failed to attract a man willing to become the husband she so desperately wanted. The nun idea was speedily cast aside and instead she decided to volunteer as a nursing assistant at the convalescent home for officers at Groom Hall, the gloomy hunting lodge next door to us. Her reasoning was that a wounded officer, being unable to escape her attentions, might well be a good marital prospect provided his injuries were neither unsightly nor injurious to the married state.
Number Four in the catalogue of life-changing events came a few weeks into Alix’s time up at the Hall, when a moment of inspiration led to my Brilliant Idea.
Oh yes, there was a fifth thing, but that came not long afterwards. Somebody died and it wasn’t from natural causes or a from a war injury. It was murder.


Author Bio – Nicola Slade lives in Hampshire where she writes historical and contemporary mysteries and women’s fiction. While her three children were growing up she wrote stories for children and for women’s magazines before her first novel, Scuba Dancing, was published in 2005. Among other jobs, Nicola has been an antiques dealer and a Brown Owl! She loves travelling and at one time, lived in Egypt for a year. The Convalescent Corpse is Nicola's 9th novel. Nicola is also a member of a crime writers’ panel, The Deadly Dames
Twitter: @nicolasladeuk
Giveaway – Win a paperback copy of The House of Ladywell (Open Internationally)
*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

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  1. Thank you so much, Jasmine; it's a pleasure to visit your blog!

    1. You're very welcome! :) Thank you for stopping by.


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